2023 has been a big year for Save the Kiwi and kiwi conservation in general. As our team looks forward to a well-deserved summer break, we’re also taking the opportunity to look back on the highlights (and lowlights) of the year that was.
- In February, Cyclone Gabrielle hit much of Aotearoa. Kiwi conservation groups were impacted too, with many groups struggling to access traplines due to destroyed infrastructure.
- In March, kiwi were released onto Motutapu for the first time since late-2020.
- In April and May, we released the first 111 kiwi from Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari to Tongariro and Wellington under our kiwi repopulation programme Kōhanga Kiwi.
- In May, we showed support for “Paora”, the kiwi from Zoo Miami that was being mistreated. As a result, we have developed a strong relationship with Zoo Miami and have been able to influence Paora’s living conditions. A new nocturnal house is expected to start construction in early-2024.
- In June, we went to the Fieldays with the Forestry Owners’ Association.
- This year we created two new roles – Dog Specialist and Forestry Specialist – which reflect our strategic focus on affecting system change.
- In October we ran an excellent campaign for Bird of the Century, and the kiwi took out #1 endemic species!
- Also in October, we ran the inaugural Kiwi Art Trail alongside our wonderful sponsor Gallagher (formerly Crombie Lockwood).
- In December, Save the Kiwi CEO Michelle Impey was announced as a semi-finalist for the Environmental Hero of the Year Award, part of the New Zealander of the Year Awards.
- The 11 projects that Save the Kiwi funds through Jobs for Nature have well-exceeded our targets. As of September 30th, they have hit a combined 127,432 hectares of mustelid-controlled habitat (vs 104,000 for the lifetime of the funding). They have also hit 134.9 full-time equivalents (FTEs) versus a goal of 100 for the lifetime of the funding.
- Throughout the year, several (too many) kiwi have been killed by dogs in areas including Northland, Coromandel, and Whakatāne.
- We saw massive inroads with predator control implementation and education by establishing the Predator Response Team and rolling out “Chasing Zero”, our predator control YouTube channel.
- This year we welcomed Millennium Hotels, Royal Wolf and PKF to our sponsorship whānau.
- We also welcomed Breakfast’s Jenny-May Clarkson to the team as an ambassador.
- The Crombie Lockwood Kiwi Burrow saw a name-change with our naming sponsor rebranding to Gallagher. New name, same mahi!
As we wrap up the year we look forward to smashing targets, goals and expectations in 2024 too.